Hosting a garden party is one of the best ways to get to know your neighbors, show off your living space, and simply create unforgettable summer memories. However, actually getting around to hosting can seem like a lot of work — or a lot of pressure. Perhaps you're worried about prepping your home and outdoor space and you're not ready to take on that work. Maybe you're worried about all the cooking you'll have to do or the yardwork you've been putting off. Maybe even you've never thought your home would be suitable for a garden party — especially when you compare it to that perfect covered terrace with a gourmet kitchen and water feature that you saw on Pinterest. But what you may not realize is that hosting can actually be very simple, and you more than likely have all the tools you need to pull off an impressive garden party with flying colors. Here are 5 quick and easy steps to start the planning process!
Make It A Potluck
When you think of a garden party, the first things that come to mind are probably fluffy light-as-air cupcakes decorated to perfection, seamlessly powdered pastries, and colorful concoctions. But no need to put all that effort in. Instead, get your guests to do a little work and bring a dish of their own. Not only will this take a lot of your plate (no pun intended), it'll allow you to try some of your guests' awesome dishes — some of which were probably homemade! To avoid ending up with 5 potato salads and 10 seven layer dips, arrange a digital sign-up sheet so everyone brings something different. Keep in mind that just because it's a potluck, that doesn't mean you can't have any snacks out of your own — in fact, you should! Keep things simple with a candy buffet, chips n' dip, or personal pizzas. Even a few sweets tucked into jars around the party will help mix things up.
Go Cheap & Easy On Lighting
Don't be fooled — your garden party doesn't have to be a bastion of inventive lighting set-ups. If you like the string light look, dig out a strand of Christmas tree lights. If you prefer something more rustic or edgy, opt for tea lights in beer bottles, carved tin soup cans, or other makeshift lanterns.
Okay, this doesn't mean you'll need to be super crafty and fill your party with groundbreaking works of art. What it does mean is that if you display only one eye-catching and audience-wowing piece that will get your guests talking, that's enough. No need to deck out the whole space; simply one super-cool item like a watermelon keg will be enough to make your efforts memorable.
Choose Comfort Food
Garden parties have a reputation for being filled with standard fare, vanilla appies that guests will follow with a proper dinner when they get home. To make your party stand out and make your guests happy with very little effort, skip the "good looking" treats and go for comfort food — you'll be surprised to see how mac n' cheese, biscuits, fries, and mashed potatoes will light up your guests' faces — and you can always add your own twist.
Add Cute Garbage Dispensers
Does 'cute garbage dispensers' sound like an oxymoron to you? Surprise — it's not! If you were planning to go around with a huge plastic bag post-party and picking things up, save yourself — put charming rustic baskets or containers out with friendly signs so that your guests take care of half the work for you. Plus, this will prevent the build-up of litter, since the bins will be displayed right from the get-go.